Chosen One - purple

Procrastination is My Drug of Choice: Buffy and Veronika Decides to Die Icons

This is what I do when I have at least three meta and two fics unfinished on my harddrive, whilst my lovely beta lanoyee waits patiently so she can actually beta. (Beta is both a noun and a verb, right?) I don't have Photoshop, only the simply editing suite on Photobucket to play with, so no claims to art here. (If you're looking for art, try terragram_icons ; they just posted a fun set of buffyverse quote icons. Or comlodge's award-winning icons. Or...anyone who is not me.)

Sample Icons:  
[More icons under the cut....]

Anyhoo...The first two are from Veronika Decides to Die (a movie I don't recommend due to what I consider it's unethical and misguided "solution" to depression: "Veronika just needs to care about someone else and she'll feel all better! And lying to her about her health condition and manipulating two mentally ill people in order to cure them is TOTALLY worth the risk!" Sorry, NO. But damn, it's got some pretty visuals.) The rest are of my girl Buffy Summers, of course, or Buffy and Dawn.

You know the drill: Comments and feedback are always welcome; proper credit is a must. All for the taking, just let me know.
(ETA: Speaking of proper credit *ahem*, original screencaps and promo images for Veronika sourced from smg-online.org and LadyMason.com .)


1. 2.


3. 4. 5.

6. 7. 8.

7.  8. 9.


10. 11. 12.


13. 14. 15.


16. 17.
Art is where I run to as well. It's great for when your muse buggers off, you letting a story sit for a day so you can go back and edit it, you're procrastinating, you're avoiding the housework, the husband, the dog, the world... lol.

You've picked some great shots here and cut them really nicely - something I still struggle with for some reason. Love # 3. That face is so expressive. :D
Thank you so much for the compliment, Janice! it means a lot.

you're procrastinating, you're avoiding the housework,

Oh yeah, exactly. the problem is its becoming my M.O. *lol* Or maybe it always was, I was a master at working on those term papers and major essays up to the last minute; since I still always got A's and B's there wasn't much incentive to change, I guess.

making icons and a few banners was one of my major hobbies when I was in moulin rouge fandom. I might post some of those here because some were quite pretty. Photobucket had a different editing suite then and I could get different effects. Hours and hours happily wasted.

You've picked some great shots here

*blushes*

something I still struggle with for some reason

I would never have guessed. your artwork tends to really mine character's emotions and psychology. I think one of the biggest things for me is figuring out which shots will still look good at 100x100. I wish icons could be 125x125; I've done so many that look perfect at that size and then when I reduce it that last little bit, it doesn't work. I'm a stickler for visual legibility of the image, composition etc.

Love # 3. That face is so expressive. :D

This makes me ridiculously happy! I almost didn't include that one because I wasn't sure if it was good enough.
And thank you for pimping me. (Am I strange 'cos I liked saying that in my head), Janice. :D

Procrastination, thy name is Janice - bugger - we are damned!

I meant the selecting cuts for icons. I'm pretty comfortable with the big stuff - it just comes to me. I see a cap - I see a story. See a word - see a picture. :D And I comfortable with the way those pics come out now. I sorted wanted to do what others I admire were doing, youknow with the swirly's and the fades and the abstract but now I just do what I feel and it seems to work for me. :D

Icons I don't really get. I suppose I think of them as avatars or something, though I do luck out sometimes and make some I rather like, lol.

Everything is in the eye of the beholder. We all like something different. Thank goodness. :D
(Am I strange 'cos I liked saying that in my head),

I was startled the first time I saw the word in that context and now it just makes me giggle. So apparently that makes two of us. We'll be strange together.

Procrastination, thy name is Janice - bugger - we are damned!

So if I'd been named "Jessica" I'd have my shit together? Crap. ;D

I meant the selecting cuts for icons.

Gotcha. I love expressive faces and strong compositions so selecting shots I like is easy, but again, something may look great in 200 pixels for instance but then you shrink it and it looks awful. I've discarded an endless number because of that.

I sorted wanted to do what others I admire were doing, youknow with the swirly's and the fades and the abstract but now I just do what I feel and it seems to work for me

And of course icons aren't telling a story, so it's easier than a banner. Single image, boom. But doing crude "picspams" (like the Joyce/Buffy/Dawn motherhood one I did recently - just putting photos next to one another) I've really gotten an appreciation for how hard it can be to tell a proper story with images; It's a bit like a short story or poem: every element has to count and you really need to "nail" the ending. I actually can't imagine doing layers or something really sophisticated like what you do. (your "Goodbye to you" banner for instance breaks my heart every time I look at it.)

Your use of the Godfather graphics for that Giles icons is such a brilliant idea because it is itself so iconic; I remember that book on my mom's shelf when I was a little girl.
I guess that we are the sisters Janice, who giggle at strange things and who suffer in silence with our procrastinating ways, or we procrastinate over whinging about suffering which keeps us silent or ... lol, enough Janice!

I've really gotten an appreciation for how hard it can be to tell a proper story

Yeah it is a little harder I think than with words though you can say a lot in a picture. I'm quite proud of Goodbye. So glad pickamix pointed out I'd missed that important step in the series. I do tend to want to be a literal story teller in my work.

Love the way the Godfather turned out. Giles looks right at home petting the cat. Lol!
I guess that we are the sisters Janice, who giggle at strange things and who suffer in silence with our procrastinating ways, or we procrastinate over whinging about suffering which keeps us silent or...

I don't know whether to laugh or to cry at this 'cause you speak truth either way.This is so much "me" it's frightening. I guess we're each other's flipped-over 'round the world mirror images. Or shadows. Or...maybe this heralds world domination at opposite ends and we'll meet in the middle?

In terms of storytelling and what medium is more difficult or easier, I guess it may have a lot to do with how our brains function, how we've been educated, all sorts of variables. I've studied visual arts since I was a very little girl because I found it interesting but I'm word-oriented by nature. So actually telling stories with images is quite the challenge. While my sweetie is the visual artist - painter, sculptor, carpenter, etc etc and she has a hard time writing a single blog post or even a Facebook entry. She has some mild dyslexia, as do a lot of visual artists.

So glad pickamix pointed out I'd missed that important step in the series.

And she's got a keen eye for grammatical mistakes in stories? There is no end to the lady's talents! I wrote a recent post re: why betas are less common for meta posts that fiction, but I'd never considered the notion of a "beta" or second eye in terms of fanart. Regardless of the medium such angels and muses ought to be more celebrated, don't you think?
heralds world domination at opposite ends and we'll meet in the middle

Hmm, I like the sound of that. I'll get right on it - tomorrow. We could call our little union 'Sisters of the Stationary Pants - We're Doing It Tomorrow!'

I guess it may have a lot to do with how our brains function

Oh definitely agree. Mine, at the moment is hardly functioning at all. I've just had my cards read, well two anyway and they were the Queen of Cups and The High Priestess - suits me to a tee. I'm an emotional piece of baggage with a very pragmatic streak. Sometimes these sides war, mostly they seem to work it out to find a middle road. So if you upset me I'll probably smack you up the side of the head but I'll give you a hug because I empathise with why you did what you did. Lol!

Pickamix is a writer and an artist. She can see both sides. She also loves Willow a lot, so was well qualified to cast her eye upon the series and see a key missing element. And, as I said before, she led me to produce the best of the series, I think.
We could call our little union 'Sisters of the Stationary Pants - We're Doing It Tomorrow!'

OMG - YOU ROCK! This needs to be a banner or a title of something or...IDK. Bumper sticker?



ok so not quite what mind; it was either this or the image from the end of HB; I can't think of a single image of just the girls sitting together where they're just "chilliing" that's more cheerful. And they're both wearing pants. (Early seasons rewatch probably in order.)

I've just had my cards read, well two anyway and they were the Queen of Cups and The High Priestess - suits me to a tee. I'm an emotional piece of baggage with a very pragmatic streak.

Sounds familiar I wonder why (actually that describes me, my mom, my sweetie - a mess the three of us.) Oddly enough I've always been drawn to the High Priestess card over the Empress - I love the visual aspect of the Empress, the warm luxuriant femininity, but she's not me.

So if you upset me I'll probably smack you up the side of the head but I'll give you a hug because I empathise with why you did what you did. Lol!

I can come on strong and state a definite opinion in utter confidence and then a minute later I'll be "Oh I hope I didn't come on too strong I didn't mean to offend you!" I'm not sure that I've ever quite found a balance point. When my energy is up, I'm not dealing with depression or bodily pain I'm far more confident of myself.

Pickamix is a writer and an artist. She can see both sides.

For some reason I think that's rare but maybe not as much as I think it is?

And I love it when other people in fandom have insights into characters or aspect of the 'verse I hadn't thought about, because we can't know it all. I don't know about anyone else but I know I can get a little tunnel-vision in terms of what I love.
Oh, perfect banner. Sitting comfortably, lost in an angst of should I, would I, why the hell won't she? Perfect!

I think those cards could describe many women. We are built to care otherwise we'd bash our little parasites in the head first time they screamed, I'm sure, and we have the pragmatism (mostly) to not give them everything to the detriment of both. :)

then a minute later I'll be

We're allowed to change our minds - women and all. Lol. And yes, physical comfort has a great bearing on our mental comfort and vice versa. :D
Oh, perfect banner. Sitting comfortably, lost in an angst of should I, would I, why the hell won't she? Perfect!

*HAPPY DANCE* From an artist such as yourself that is QUITE the compliment, hon, thank you!

We are built to care otherwise we'd bash our little parasites in the head first time they screamed, I'm sure,

Children, spouses, both, either? ;)
Children, spouses, both, either?

Was thinking of children but definitely spouses. I remember in those first exhausting, confusing days of life with a new born in the house, complaining to the hubby that I couldn't take care of two children and his instant reply - 'I was here first!'

Yes, definitely both!
In their own minds, definitely.

Which of course is not fair to my male friends IRL and here in fandom who are genuinely nice, kind, awesome individuals. Of whom, sadly, there seem to be not enough.
Lol. I don't think they consciously think this. I don't think they think about it at all. They just 'are'. Lol. There do seem to be a lot of less than desirable ones about thought mind that can be said for both sexes really.
There do seem to be a lot of less than desirable ones about thought mind that can be said for both sexes really.

THIS. Nail, head.
Nice! I know there are times in fandom when I could use 7 or 17...

And that's the moral of Veronika...? Huh. Having read another of Paulo Coelho's books (and I use the word "books" loosely), I can't say I'm surprised, but still... urgh.
when I could use 7 or 17...

Please do! Although you're generally rather mono-iconic aren't you? I might not recognize you as someone else *lol* I do have a slightly darker version of #7 but I wasn't sure which one I preferred.


And that's the moral of Veronika...?

Short version, yeah. I guess I should have said "Spoilers" but it didn't occur to me. Should I edit the post? Nah.

So, ok **SPOILERS LONG VERSION **Sarah is really good in it btw as a clinically depressed woman who tries to commit suicide (and only fails because someone found her and they pumped her stomach.) She's told she has a heart condition that will kill her anyway in about a week; falls in love with a catatonic boy who hasn't spoken in years since the death of his girlfriend. The doctor treating her manipulates things and allows the two of them to run away from the institution with the idea that caring for someone else will cure her and, oh, by the way, her heart condition has healed itself BUT he doesn't tell her because not knowing will encourage her to live every day as if it's her last. Then she falls asleep and the boy she's escaped with thinks she's dead and is about to throw himself off the pier in despair but - surprise! - she yawns and wakes up. the kid nearly fucking KILLED himself but didn't because of sheer luck. */ END SPOILERS*

Yeah, that's right "All you need is love". Never mind the genetic, chemical, and physical factors that play into it. (Btvs also implies IMO that all Buffy needs to do is pull herself up by her bootstraps. Which is exactly the sort of bullshit attitude that discourages people from seeking treatment.


Yeah, I don't change icons much since I got busted down to the standard 15 - which is odd since I mostly use my standard one anyway. But since you're using one of mine, why not? :)

Oh dear. The one Coelho I've read is The Alchemist, which has a completely different plot but the same solipsist bullshit idea, including the wise old man (who is TOTALLY not Coelho himself) who turns up at the end to outright tell people how they can just decide to have everything they need. He essentially writes bad self-help books disguised as bad novels.

And at least Buffy did get professional help in s7, even if he was evil... ;)
Buffy in braids looks good on you... *lol*

I can't imagine you having an endless supply of icons. Me, I'd love to have more than 15 but I'll be damned if I'm going to pay for the pleasure.

But since you're using one of mine, why not? :)

I am? Which one is that? (I've nabbed some things online that didn't have the makers name attached, so if I have, let me know and I'll correct that asap.)

He essentially writes bad self-help books disguised as bad novels.

And he's apparently quite popular? Then again so is John Grisham so no accounting for taste.
That attitude of "you just need to think you way into a better life" strikes me as a post-Christianity, new age, modern era twist on the same old bullshit of if you live a clean life and think good thoughts God will bless you. We keep trying to find a way to make sense of chaos, to preserve the illusion of control over our lives, and explain why some people have good fortune and others don't.

Or, we use it as a way of self-flagellating: "I'd have gotten that job if I'd only thought more positively." (And never mind that 100 other people were up for the same position, or that the interviewer was having a bad day and you happened to remind him of his mother, etc.)

This is why one of my favorite books of the bible is the Book of Job; the message is basically that we can't know why things happen the way they do. It's actually quite sophisticated and not at all like the simplified version handed to me in Sunday School.

And at least Buffy did get professional help in s7, even if he was evil... ;)

*lol* I keep forgetting about Holden.
I am? Which one is that?

Oh, I thought you knew - the "Buffy has to do this" one. It's from a little series of false identity icons I made here.

Yeah, Coelho is ridiculously popular, which says more than I want to know about the publishing industry... say what you will about the likes of EL James, at least she doesn't present herself as a deep philosopher for spouting things that would make a hospital greeting card maker feel cheap.

That attitude of "you just need to think you way into a better life" strikes me as a post-Christianity, new age, modern era twist on the same old bullshit of if you live a clean life and think good thoughts God will bless you.

Yeah. I recently re-read Voltaire's Candide, which is still a depressingly hilarious send-up of that whole mindset, and has lost absolutely zero relevance 250 years after it was written...

(I have a children's bible somewhere that's absolutely hilarious in how it simplifies the story. Job is essentially boiled down to "Job was a rich man who had bad luck and lost his family. Then God gave him a new one. Isn't God nice?" It also skips Revelation entirely, which means the Bible ends with "And then Paul and his friends took a boat ride to Malta. The end.")
the "Buffy has to do this" one.

*facepalm* I'd never seen that post; I found it god knows where floating around the internet. Ugh. I'll add proper credit now, and thank you belatedly! It's one of my favorites - when "extremely pissed" is the mood of the moment.

I recently re-read Voltaire's Candide, which is still a depressingly hilarious send-up of that whole mindset, and has lost absolutely zero relevance 250 years after it was written...

And if THAT isn't depressing I don't know what is. "The American Myth of Success: From Horatio Alger to Norman Vincent Peale" by RIchard Weiss (1969) is also extremely relevant.

plu ca change...

I don't have that children's bible anymore but it sounds exactly like yours. It ends at - kind of nowhere.

For years I thought Job was about a man who refused to rail or curse or denounce God, he just sat in the ashes suffering silently - until I actually read the book and discovered that Job actually does demand to know why God is torturing him. He's not denouncing God but he demands to know what he did to deserve this. And God's response is basically "You human man not know my ways." I love The book of Job - it reads like a Hebrew morality play (complete with chorus); I can actually imagine it being staged and I wonder if it was designed to be so. It reminds me of Greek or even Shakespearean drama. It's a great piece of literature in it's own right and the first book of the bible that doesn't feel like someone's lying to me. Just humans trying to make the best of things.
No worries - I'm glad you liked the icon!

I haven't read Job in years, but I really like that interpretation. To be honest, I always found it one of the creepiest books of the Bible - not because I (as a Lovecraft fan) have a problem with the idea of gods playing dice with human lives, but that people expected me to find comfort in the belief in a god who might at any moment kill my entire family (or hell, kill me) just to win an argument with Satan. That pretty much makes God a monster. But look at it from that angle, and it's basically the same moral as Candide: The world isn't fair, if there is a master plan it's not on your side, just worry about what you can do and plant your garden.

(And this would be where I'd use my Illyria icon if I still had room for it...)
But look at it from that angle, and it's basically the same moral as Candide: The world isn't fair, if there is a master plan it's not on your side, just worry about what you can do and plant your garden.

Yes, that was my exact take-away from it. I found it interesting - but confusing at first, because the "chorus" of people lecturing to Job basically repeated (ad nauseum) messages from the previous books of the bible about belief in God and that Job MUST have sinned and needed to confess it; IOW, they sounded like the Old Prophets, Moses and Isiah and so forth; so I though at first they were 'the authors voice' so to speak, until I realized something quite different was afoot.

Now I'll have to re-read it and Candide and see if my impression is correct. I'm amused by the notion that it's really one of the great underrated and overlooked pieces of Western literature. I want bragging rights, damnit!

BTW - I've never read Lovecraft; what starting point would you recommend to a novice?
Recommending Lovecraft to novices is a bit tricky, since, well, he wasn't a very good writer. Not to mention that he had some rather unpalatable opinions about race that show up occasionally. What he did better than anyone else at the time, though, was come up with ideas; he created this entire shared 'verse in which the horror comes from people gradually discovering that they're just tiny little cogs in a world that's much older and much more populated than we think - and that we are as ants to most things in it.(Basically, the BtVS backstory - once demon roamed the earth and they still wait underground - is pure Lovecraft, if a bit tamed.) The horror in Lovecraft isn't that you might get eaten, the horror is in that huge gaping chasm between what we think we know and control, and the realisation that we know NOTHING and our entire well-ordered man-on-top philosophy is maddeningly naive...

Anyway, recommendations are also tricky since he almost exclusively wrote short stories with a few novellas interspersed. I'd say the best recommendation is to find a story collection that includes "The Shadow Over Innsmouth", "The Color Out of Space", "The Call of Cthulhu", "At the Mountains of Madness" (novella), "The Nameless City", "Rats in the Walls", "Imprisoned with the Pharaohs", "The Dunwich Horror", "Pickman's Model" and a bunch of others and dive in. If you read e-books, his works are all in the public domain so you should be able to find them for free on gutenberg.org and other sites.
Thank you for the recs! I'm sure I can go to the library as I don't read ebooks (we all remember "libraries", right? those big building with lots of books?*lol*)

Something that's really awesome - and important = to me is how many people in this fandom are so well-read. Mostly I've been reading nonfiction for the last 20 years so I have huge gaps in a lot of areas. "horror" is a genre that's never appealed to me, so I have to read what other people say about the tropes in btvs early seasons to actually know the tropes exist.

Recommending Lovecraft to novices is a bit tricky, since, well, he wasn't a very good writer.

OT, did you ever read the Celestine Prophecy? that was all the rage among new age types including a lot of my friends back in the '90's, huge best seller - and I could barely get through chapter one. Just give me the freaking ideas and spare me the lousy prose and hackneyed "adventure story" please.

The horror in Lovecraft isn't that you might get eaten, the horror is in that huge gaping chasm between what we think we know and control, and the realisation that we know NOTHING and our entire well-ordered man-on-top philosophy is maddeningly naive...

I remember you mentioned Lovecraft in your comments re: Mabus_101's "(meme)metapsychosis" (the Buffybot story) and that sounds very much in line with what you're saying here. Christ on a crumpet that is the BEST Buffybot story ever.
I read a lot of horror when I was younger, but in recent years I've become really bad at following the genre. When I say Lovecraft isn't a very good writer, that comes mostly from re-reading him a few years ago and realising that while he's great at setting a scene and coming up with an idea, he tends to repeat himself a lot and try to dodge out of actually describing things - "mere words cannot do justice to the horror which befell me as I gazed upon the unmentionable" yada yada yada. Still very much worth reading, though. Stephen King once noted that the worst part about writing horror is that the more you build something up, the more disappointed people will always be once you show it - if you show someone a door, promise that what's behind them will scare them witless, and then open the door to show a 50-foot insect, some part of the reader will always go "Phew, at least it's not a 500-foot insect." Lovecraft got a lot of mileage out of being vague, but sometimes you just want to shake him and yell "JUST TELL ME ALREADY."

OT, did you ever read the Celestine Prophecy?

The title sounds familiar, but I don't think I ever read it. I generally try to stay away from books that are obviously crap, though I try to regularly read a really bad novel - partly because when something becomes as successful as, say, The Alchemist or Left Behind, I get curious about what people see in them; and partly because I need to recalibrate my reading skills sometimes. Life's too short to only read great books. :)

And yeah, I still have nightmares about that story.
Life's too short to only read great books.

Heh, my motto's the opposite. (But then I'll waste time on crappy fanfic. Because it's right here at home and I don't have to hunt for it, of course.) The biggest disappointment for me of course is always the books that start out really promising, then just fall apart later or can't maintain the initial premise. Sort of like Veronika, actually.

And yeah, I still have nightmares about that story.

Right? I did not see that shit coming.

I want to rec it in a post sometime but I have to be careful not to say the wrong thing or you spoil the whole effect. Which is the exact opposite of what I'm talking about above. I think that "nailing the landing" is one of the hardest things to do in writing (fiction or nonfiction, or at least it is for me, so it's a skill I envy and need to work harder on.) He's got another story or two I sometimes want to mention in the context of a meta idea but then I realize I'll ruin the entire damn thing.
Lovely icons. My favourite I think it's #4.
And, yes, Veronika's moral is bullshit but the movie was so beautiful - certain images were really, really gorgeous - and Sarah was simply perfect.
Thanks sweetie! # 4 is one of my favorites too; I was really pleased with the strong contrast effect.

Veronika's moral is bullshit but the movie was so beautiful

Amen. It's one of the most gorgeously lensed films I've ever seen
http://ladymanson.com/galleries/movies/MoviesTV/displayimage.php?album=7&pid=14357#top_display_media
http://ladymanson.com/galleries/movies/MoviesTV/displayimage.php?album=7&pos=1665
but - what is the shorthand term for beautiful images put to the service of a terrible message? ("A major portion of Western art and culture" is a little unwieldy.) Smothering mother, love at first sight, creativity as a cure - and I could write a nice long post about my issues with the depiction of women & masturbation & the association re: mental illness in the movies (Veronika, Margot at the Wedding, Black Swan.) Ugh

The fact that Sarah does hit the "right notes" (no pun intended) re: depression, suicide, hopelessness, lethargy, anger etc just makes it worse.

Apparently it's available on bluray so I guess it was pretty popular worldwide? I don't recall that it got a US release.
If I remember correctly the film just went out in dvd-form without being released in cinemas. Apparently it wasn't a huge success. And yes, there's that contraddiction between stupid message and generally good movie. (I also appreciated the other actors not only Sarah, who was magnificent)
I just really hope to see Sarah in something I completely like. I think she's really talented and she deserves to act in proper projects.
I also appreciated the other actors not only Sarah

I forgot to mention Melissa Leo! She was in it before she made Frozen River and The Fighter but I didn't see it until after I'd seen the Fighter. I think she's fantastic. I love mature women in movies who look like - real women. Her wrinkles make her more beautiful in my eyes.

I just really hope to see Sarah in something I completely like.

I would too but at this point I'm not holding my breath, sadly. I would never have picked DB as the one to have the most successful after-series career based on what I saw in btvs (aside from Aly, but she already had those American Pie movies.) Sarah, James, Emma, and Anthony would have been my picks. Maybe it's just what other people have said: the right actor+right role=kismet. Like lightening in a bottle that can't be recaptured.
I was just following the links to your Icons and saw your discussion .

The situation with Veronika is that it is in distribution hell in America , apparently because of a legal dispute between two of the producers , and has never been released in any form .There was a proposed DVD release at one point but that never went ahead .

It hasn't been released in the UK either apparently as a consequence of the US dispute so there is no DVD or Bluray from there .
Re:
It hasn't been released in the UK either apparently as a consequence of the US dispute so there is no DVD or Bluray from there .

Ah, thank you for the information! I think that's a lot more common that people would think? (I remember back in the '80's a film went straight to VHS starring Jodie Foster and Dennis Hopper that was supposed to be a major release but the producers went bankrupt. If anything it might be even more common in this economic climate.)

There was a proposed DVD release at one point but that never went ahead .

I found it on Blu Ray (5 copies) and a couple of used DVD copies on Amazon. I actually watched it on YouTube but I'm fairly certain pieces of it were missing or out of order (the pool sequence, for instance.) Lady Manson's caps are from the Blu Ray.

I just friended you I hope you don't mind? I know that you haven't posted to LJ since 2004. Did you find me via su_herald, perchance? (What does the "dub" in your screenname signify? My first thought was it signified something being "dubbed" into another language.)